US Standard Model of 1815 Replacement Bayonet
- Product Code: EWB-2421-SOLD
- Availability: Out Of Stock
Offered here is VERY GOOD example of a scare “1816 style” replacement socket bayonet for use on the Standard Musket of 1815, that was produced during the brief period from 1815-1819, prior to the full scale production of the US Model 1816 Musket that started to be delivered during 1817. These Standard Model of 1815 muskets were previously called the US Model 1812 by earlier authors and researchers. The bayonet that was originally used on these guns was really the US Pattern of 1810 bayonet, essentially a bridged version, slightly more standardized and evolved version of the US M1795 bayonet, which may collectors long referred to at the M1795 Type III or Type IV. This bayonet had a three step, “L” or inverted “Z” shaped mortise, and not the well know “T” shaped mortise of the US M1816 bayonet. It also had a longer socket that was nominally 3.5” in length, versus the shorter 3” socket of the M1816 bayonet. For a very brief time a Model 1817 bayonet was produced for the late production M1815 muskets that incorporated the new M1816 bayonet socket length, but still followed the earlier pattern of the 1795 / 1810 bayonets.
The US M1816 bayonet is a curios animal as well, as that designation only belongs to the earliest of the bayonets of that pattern, produced circa 1817 through about 1822. The single most important factor in identifying the “1816” bayonet has been the “T”-shaped mortise cut. This feature, known as “Wilson’s Improvement” was patented by Andrew Wilson in 1814. Mr. Wilson had served as the Master Armorer at Springfield during the first decade of the 1800s and had developed the improvement to the mortise cut while employed there. The Ordnance Department felt that they actually owned the patent because it had been developed while Wilson was at Springfield, but in the end negotiated the right to use the improvement on socket bayonets produced by the US arsenals, as well their contractors for a one-time payment of $3,000. As the other option at the time was to adopt the locking ring, as used on the French socket bayonets of the era, and the locking ring added $0.25 to the cost of each bayonet, the Ordnance Department felt they had secured quite a good deal in buying the right to use Wilson’s patent. At the rate of $0.25 per bayonet, adding locking rings to 500,000 bayonets would cost $125,000! Considering that between 1818 and 1844 nearly 1,000,000 socket bayonets with “T” mortise sockets would be produced by the national armories, contractors and for use on the Hall rifle, this $3,000 expenditure saved the government nearly $250,000!
The M1816 Bayonet was produced until 1822, when it was determined that some minor improvements were in order. The early “1816” bayonets had a muzzle diameter that was nominally about .840”. In 1822, in order to achieve a better standard of fit, and at least some interchangeability between bayonets and muskets, a new slightly smaller socket diameter of between .820” and .828” became standard, with a corresponding reduction in the exterior muzzle diameter of the muskets. As refinements in the US M1816 muskets had resulted in the US M1822 muskets (usually called the M1816 Type II by collectors), the refined bayonet was also termed the M1822. The final improvement to the 1816 series of bayonets came in 1827, when it was determined that the shank diameter should be increased to at least .460” to make it stronger. It was also determined that it would be appropriate to try to standardize the bayonet as much as possible in terms of weights and measures to make it as consistent as possible, within the limitations of the manufacturing facilities and measuring equipment available. This would result in even greater interchangeability between bayonets and muskets. This new bayonet was designated the M1827. For all practical purposes, the M1816, M1822 and M-1827 bayonet are visually identical, and only the use of calipers or precision measuring tools can allow you to easily tell the difference between them. However, these measurements can help you to determine during which period a bayonet was likely produced (1818-1822, 1822-1827, or 1827-1844). To further muddy the waters, replacement bayonets for earlier muskets were produced during the era of the “1816” bayonet. These bayonets would visually appear to be regular M1816/22/27 bayonets but would have socket measurements that indicate they were to be used to replace damaged or missing bayonets from earlier pattern muskets.
The bayonet offered here is one of those post-1816 pattern bayonets produced to replace an earlier Model 1815 musket bayonet that was lost or damaged. The bayonet visually conforms to the “1816” pattern with the Wilson’s Improvement T-shaped mortise a nominally 16” long blade. However, diving into the measurements soon reveals the reality of the situation. The socket measures 3 7/16” socket with a 1 ½” muzzle to stud distance; appropriate to a Model 1815 musket. The socket has a muzzle diameter of .858”, much larger than the early 1818 production M1816 bayonets with a nominally .840” muzzle diameter. The neck of the bayonet shank measures a relatively thick .530” suggesting that it is from post-1827 production era. The blade measures 15 ¾” with a modified slash point, and the overall length of the bayonet is 19 3/8”. These measurements indicate this bayonet was produced during the post-1827 period as a replacement for a US Model 1815 Standard Musket.
The bayonet is in VERY GOOD condition. It has probably been lightly cleaned and now has a medium bright steel gray color with scattered patches of light surface oxidation and discoloration. The metal is mostly smooth with some scattered light pinpricking here and there and few specks of more moderate pinpricking present as well. The bayonet shows some nice forging flaws. These are particularly obvious along the last few inches closest to the tip, with a small flaw near the ricasso. These types of flaws are typical of early production US socket bayonets, but much less common by the 1820s. This may explain some of the other markings. The face of the blade has a deep US / JBmark. The initials “JB” could refer to any of the following Springfield Armory workmen: Joel Brown, John Burt, John Burgess, Joel Blish or Joseph Bullard. There is also a C stamped on the base of the blade at the neck junction, potentially indicating “condemned”, which would be understandable considering the obvious blade flaws. The socket is marked with the alphanumeric serial number and mating mark M/a 20. This type of serial numbering was done circa 1820-1832 at the National Arsenals. The bayonet also shows some scattered dings and impact marks, both on the edges of the blade and on socket and shank. None are particularly serious but are typical of the wear found on a bayonet that is approaching 200 years old. The only real condition issue is that there is a very minor bend in the shank that makes the blade point slightly to the right, rather than straight when mounted on a musket.
Overall this is a nice example of a scarce “replacement” bayonet made circa 1820s for Springfield muskets circa 1815-1818. To the untrained eye this would just be another “1816” bayonet, but early socket features made it worth taking a second look and measuring the bayonet carefully. Only then was its real purpose identified. If you need a bayonet for your Springfield Standard Musket of 1815 this would be a nice one for it. It would also be a good addition to an advanced US socket bayonet collection as a study piece to show the differences between a standard production US M-1816/22/27 bayonet and one from that same era, made as a replacement bayonet for earlier muskets.